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Winter Wheat Berry

Winter Wheat Berry "Risotto" with Fall Vegetables

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 2 cups of green tea made with 2 tea bags
  • 1 cup wheat berries (whole wheat)
  • 1 medium onion chopped, about 1½ cups
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2½ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth plus more as needed
  • 2½ cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth plus more as needed
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ cups ½-inch diced butternut squash
  • 1/4 cup diced shallots
  • 3 cups 1-inch pieces chopped kale
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan, optional
  • 1 tablespoon butter, optional


  • Place the wheat berries and tea into a container and allow to soak for at least 6 hours and up to overnight to soften the wheat berries.


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

    In a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon olive oil and when hot add the onions. Cook, while stirring, until the onions become slightly translucent. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove and discard the tea bags then add the wheat berries along with their liquid, 1½ cups chicken stock, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper to the pot. Increase the heat to high, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer the wheat berries until all the liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour.  Remove the carrots and discard.


    While the wheat berries are simmering, toss the butternut squash in 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in the oven, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.  Set aside until ready to use.

    In a medium sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil then add the shallots. Cook the shallots for 2 minutes or until tender. Add the kale and sauté for 4 minutes, until tender.  Season the kale with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.


    Once the liquid has evaporated from the wheat berries, stir in ½ cup chicken stock, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Taste the wheat berries to check for tenderness.  They should be chewy at this point.  Stir in another ½ cup chicken stock and continue to simmer another 10 minutes until the liquid has almost evaporated.  At this point the “risotto” should look slightly starchy and the grains will have become tender. (If the wheat berries still seem al dente, stir in a little more chicken stock as needed, allowing it to reduce, before proceeding).  Gently stir in the roasted butternut squash, the sautéed kale, and if desired, the butter and parmesan.  Serve immediately.

Recipe Details